Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Don't Hurt People and Don't Take Their Stuff by Matt Kibbe

 I was expecting from the subtitle of this book to encounter a well-reasoned set of platform planks, derived from first principles, but didn't get that, exactly, just more of a litany of recent government actions that should make us favor a more limited government. Perhaps some of this stuff is unknown to those who don't like to be bothered with current events, but I've already viewed most of these with some degree of alarm.

There are, however, some well-written bits.

"We should always be skeptical of too much concentrated power in the hands of government agents. They will naturally abuse it. Outside government, an unnatural concentration of power - such as the extraordinary leverage wielded by mega-investment banks or government employee unions - is always in partnership with government power monopolists."

Kibbe writes about the trials of finding Ayn Rand's works in a bookstore before everything was available at our fingertips. I used to spend my days off trolling all the local bookstores looking for undiscovered science fiction and fantasy to add to my library, and took every opportunity while traveling to visit used book stores, as well.

"Back in the day, you couldn't just log into your account on and find it, or the multitude of books related to it. I looked in any bookstore, at every opportunity. It was difficult to find."

I think Kibbe and I might be contemporaries, as this passage rang some bells for me, taking me back to when I was making less than minimum wage working at the University of Idaho food service in the SUB.

"I was able to pay my tuition by clearing trees and washing dishes for the college (students were exempt from the minimum wage that had been such a barrier to my earlier entry into the workforce)."

So, if the Affordable Care Act is such a boon to mankind, why is every organization with political pull doing their best not to be covered under its provisions?

"...about 1200 businesses have been granted exemptions from the ObamaCare employer mandate...labor unions representing 543,812 workers and private companies employing 69,813 workers..."

I found the following passages rather amusing:

Nobel laureate James Buchanan's "The message of Keynesianism might be summarized as: What is folly in the conduct of a private family may be prudence in the conduct of the affairs of a great nation."


Adam Smith's "What is prudence in the conduct of every private family, can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom."

On the individual mandate which represents another vast transfer of wealth from the working young adults to their grandparents:

"Why not respect young people enough as sovereign individuals to let them choose? Why not let young people save for their future health care needs tax free in exchange for voluntarily choosing a catastrophic health insurance policy?"

On the subject of imprisonment for drug offenses:

"The government should protect us from violence against other individuals. The sort of self-inflicted bad things that people can do to themselves, we should try to work as a society to minimize that, but putting people in jail for doing bad things to themselves is just not good for society."

The Manifesto

1. Comply with the laws you pass
"rather than craft narrow exemptions or even delay implementation...the Senate decided instead to exclude legislative and executive staffers from the online disclosure requirements of the STOCK act."

2. Stop spending money we don't have
3. Scrap the tax code
4. Put patients in charge
5. Choice, not conscription
6. End insider bailouts

Pelosi on TARP "It just comes down to one simple thing. They have described a precipice. We are on the brink of doing something that might pull us back from that precipice., I think we have a responsibility. We have worked in a bipartisan way."

7. Let parents decide
8. Respect my privacy
9. End the Fed monopoly
10. Avoid entangling alliances
11. Don't take people's stuff
12. Defend your right to know

All good ideas, but unlikely ever to be implemented, as the political and bureaucratic classes are far too enamored of their wealth and power and are entangled with the corporate special interests. Both major parties are in it up to their eyeballs, and dismantling the bureaucracy in Washington would take a Category 7 hurricane.

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